Boxes

(inspired by David L. Wilson’s poem)

Boxes

I have known several

My Dad was the first

All neatly encased when I got there

The work already done

I lifted him up

We all did

He was light

Hard to imagine

A whole life in one small box

Carefully sealed

 

Later he would sit next to an American flag

Encased with his medals

A veteran with honors

But not heroism

Just a lifetime of being a hero

 

Next would be Mom

I drove her home myself

Feeling like I should drive slowly

No speeding

No radio

I had to be respectful

Worried that she might fall on the floor

Even in death I worried about her

It was hard to stop

 

She would sit next to my Dad

High on a bookshelf

Where the cats wouldn’t knock them

And the kids wouldn’t pull them down

The boxes were covered

With Grandma’s embroidery

I would ceremoniously wash

Every few weeks

Dusting the shelf and thinking of them

Wondering how they were

 

Stacie was like an anomaly

Passed around as we discussed death

Her death sudden and unsettling

She was heavy

much heavier

Her bones still strong and full

When she passed.

She too found a shelf

And a place.

I would visit sometimes

And wish I could change things

 

Perhaps scattering would come

One day for all of them

The boxes, small complex

The remnants of a whole life

Unceremoniously transformed to ash

And memories

 

Memories I would write about

Memories collected

That would one day be a box

Someone will toss in the trash

After I am placed on a shelf

Away from cats and kids

Collecting dust.

 

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